6 Ways to Improve Your Company's Web Meetings
As the first quarter of the New Year comes to an end and we head into the spring season in full force, now is the time to re-motivate your staff in preparation for the remaining year ahead.
When executed properly, meetings are highly effective at grabbing the attention of your employees and motivating them to accomplish more. Unfortunately, however, meetings are usually not executed properly; this includes web and in-person meetings. The result: a staff that looks at the meeting as an excuse to do no work or an inconvenience that lies in the way between them and actually accomplishing ‘real’ work.
Meetings should be engaging, they should motivate and inspire. They should not burden or distract. Here are six ways that you can prevent your company meetings from doing the latter of the two.
Define Your Purpose
Clearly defining the purpose of the meeting right off the bat is a fundamental element of engaging with your audience. Having a clearly defined goal with the intentions laid out on the table from the beginning, will allow attendees to better focus on how particular information is relevant to their role. Furthermore, it will better allow them to participate in discussions and offer valuable insight as to how such a topic might be useful or relevant in a way that perhaps you did not consider. Knowing the goal of the meeting ultimately will help your staff to feel more engaged to the purpose of the meeting, and furthermore appreciate any and all pertinent information provided to them.
Interact with Attendees
Sending out applicable information prior to the meeting will help the staff to better prepare for the meeting. By avoiding monologues and having the team hunch over their laptops viewing charts and graphs for the first time, you will greatly increase participation and interest in the matter at hand. Encourage your staff to engage, to chime in, and to offer insight – when you stop doing all of the talking yourself, you would be surprised at the difference it makes in team participation. An engaged room (or virtual room) full of team members will make your web meeting more productive, informative and appealing to ‘attendees’. This should help to kill the stigma attached to meetings, where they are either an inconvenience or an excuse that stands in the way of employees and getting a job done.
Include Other Departments
At your web meetings be bringing in a staff member who is not typically a part of the team that you are addressing will add variety and also provide the team with a fresh perspective on the matter(s) being discussed. For example, if you are working with the marketing team on new flyer or pamphlet formats, involving someone who works in the printing department will give the creative’s an understanding and appreciation of what can be done.
Nothing will frustrate and inconvenience your staff and thus contribute to lack of interest, like starting or finishing your meeting late. Lead your staff by example. Set strict parameters for your meeting, including prompt beginning and ending times and stick to your guns. If you are constantly logging on late to your own meeting or holding the staff later than you promised, you can expect the majority to eventually develop feelings of resentment towards your meetings, regardless of the purpose. Having strict rules with regard to punctuality that you do not follow yourself will likely quickly become unappealing to your team and you can expect that it will result in losing their attention before you have even gained it in the first place. If you can find a way to end the meeting a couple of minutes early even, do it. Your team will greatly appreciate the small break before getting back to work.
Escape the Office
A change of scenery is nice once in a while. Off-site meetings have the ability to be 63 percent more effective at conveying the point than meetings that take place in the office. Professional facilities offer an environment free from distractions that will allow your meeting to be not only more productive, but also more comfortable.
There are many other ways that you can change the scenery for your staff to help them get and stay engaged. From a luncheon out of the office to virtual meetings, anything that you can do to shake things up a bit will prove beneficial. With technology today, you can hold web meetings, which will allow you to do away with physical meetings all together. Video conferencing software such as UberConference will allow you to communicate with employees who work remotely and thus negate the need to ‘inconvenience’ anyone more so than necessary.
If you are finding that you are not getting the results that you desire when it comes to monthly or weekly meetings, take a step back and evaluate your procedures. Implement the above mention six tips into your scheduled meetings and chances are that you will make the time spent with (and/or away from) your team count in every way that matters.
Ask for Insight
Nothing will help your team to feel engaged more than asking them for their insight. Whether it is in reference to the location of the meeting or more specifically their opinion about a topic discussed, asking for their opinion shows that you care. Not only will looking to your staff for insight and actually using their ideas shows that you care about their opinion, but it will also show that you appreciate them. It is a known fact that employees that feel appreciated and that consistently engage in company matters outperform those who do not. In order to ramp up staff productivity, thus inevitably boosting your bottom line, you need to show your staff that you care. It is more important than you might think.
Sure, these tips might seem like common sense, but you would be surprised at how often such basic concepts of common meeting fundamentals are forgotten. Meetings should effectively engage your staff and they should help your team move forward in a specific direction. When executed properly, a meeting should improve your employee development, it should boost commitment and above all it should have a lasting positive effect on productivity.
If you have further insight about ways to revamp or overhaul company web meetings, then please share. We would love to hear your input!
Edited by Mandi Nowitz